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Nov 29, 2005

No New Posts

It's really been over a week since I've visited here, though I didn't intend it to be that way. A major event took place last week, unexpected, but necessary and long overdue. I may have unconsciously avoided dropping back here because I'm afraid what I'll spill. Last week has set me back slightly, and placed me into a static trance for the better half of last week. And I want to write about it, but can't. Not here anyway. That motherload will entail a long, grueling haul.

Finals are in less than two weeks. Projects, papers, and their due dates are converging towards the point of this rusty knife-of-a-semester. I don't even know whether that makes sense or not, and also don't care at this point. Movin' down the final stretch of this leg in the race, and one final leg to go.

As always, I'm headed somewhere.

Nov 21, 2005

Monday November 21st

In random intervals, rays of sunshine spilled forth from the billowy clouds. It is a dog-tired day. Collectively, I may have had seventeen hours of sleep between Friday and today. No rest for the wicked and weary. Is it really only the busy, the tired, the pursued and the pursuing shuffling through this world? I wear my restlessness under my eyelids, heavy and dull.

And I am reawakened to love. Times before I've thrown it away, let it burn, and once revisited I would find only a pile of ashes that could never be reconstructed into that which it once was, something whole, something tangible. I took it for granted and my mind was rarely still still, while it shifted here and there searching for something, cloaking that which could not be let out. I remained static when I needed to grow. I waited for truth to jump up and slap me in the face . . . and in waiting I played the lead role in the perpetuation of a lie.

Now, I no longer move to silence the flies. I've loosened my grip on the noose and let it fall from my hands. I will plunge my fingers deep into my chest cavity at the sternum and pry. Skin rips, bones crack; smell my bone dust. Touch my wet, foul insides. This pain is a numb one compared to the sense that humps on the back of distrust, jealousy and insecurity.

I am no longer alone in my balance of the ugliness and sheer perfection of the earth. Standing inside an empty dream I feel nothing, finally aware of myself, and know that I am there.

My presence counts. And my presents count.

Nov 13, 2005

[private]Weekend Equals Good

This weekend felt good. Didn't have to work at all. Relaxed.

Saturday night is private, but was completely incredible. Only have one person to thank for that.

I slept pretty well even though it was windy weekend. Actually, Saturday night I didn't sleep too well cause of the howling coming through my bedroom windy. I've discovered that it is not the sound of the wind that's ugly, but rather the sound of the wind sneaking through my crappy windows. There's a difference. But it makes the wind seem more brutal either way.

Outside, as I write this, winter is in the air.

I'm warming up to head out to the Water Street Pub to catch some bluegrass on this fine Sunday evening.

Nov 10, 2005

Thirty Minutes and the Whole World Changes

The world spins as I write this. No, it's not the beer. This afternoon at a meeting with my advisor, the poet Elder, it was made apparent to me that I can graduate in the Spring of 2006. A degree in liberal arts and a degree in writing complete. May 7th symbolically marks the death of my time there. And many things run through my mind.

The campus itself, fenced in on all sides by nature: Corn fields, open pasture, and woods. There had to be two hundred geese chillin' by the pond this morning on the drive to school. They haven't gone south. As for the geese, their time is also near, and they must head south, break free from LC.

When I say there, or that place in describing school, I wanted to say "here" both times. It is my home. I am excited to leave. I don't want to leave. I have to leave. I want to leave. I don't want to leave. This is my current thought process . . . not really getting me anywhere, I know.

I think of the people, and good friends I've met. I think of the professors, some of whom I've held the greatest respect and admiration for than anyone in my entire life. The thought of not waking up every day, seeing their faces, talking with them, learning from them and connecting with them, brings tears to my eyes.

I will not cry on graduation day.

My final semester is looking to be a good one:

Internship on the literary magazine Seems.
Senior Project in Writing

They weren't going to offer advanced composition, but there are four of us who need it to graduate. That forces them to offer it. The benefits of a small, liberal arts college. Anyway, Elder, who normally taught the class, will be on sabbatical. And I learned today (another reason my world is spinning) that Tom Montag will be taking his place. Once again, the forces of time and space have brought us together, Tom, and I can't freakin' wait.

I am in a strange place right now, sitting here in my room. And in the words of the late Hunter S. Thompson:

"What now? What comes next?"

Nov 9, 2005

Winter in Wisconsin

I just returned from the ritual I hold with my roommate Mace each night. We step out onto the porch and have the last cigarette and conversation of the day. Outside, it is cold.

"You know what the low is for tonight?" he asks.

"Thirty-two," is what I guess.

"Twenty-eight," he says. "It's going to feel like nineteen when I get up to go to work tomorrow. Nineteen."

"Jesus," I say, "I can't stand this ****."

"It only goes down to like, forty in Oregon," he says.

We've been throwing around the idea of moving there once I graduate.

The wind sounds ugly. Has for two days now. It is by a long shot the most horrid sounding wind I've heard in my life. Like three banshees wailing at once. I've slept through thunder and lightning, but this is like a terrified cat hissing in your ear all night long. I detest it.

"Too cold," I say. "It shouldn't be a punishment to step outside. You shouldn't have to suffer."

"I agree," I think he said.

There was some interchanges I can't recall, but it lead to:

"Ice fishing is fun though," he says. "It's good if you like that."

I've never gone ice fishing. Wisconsinites abroad will vote to have me expelled from this state. Doesn't hunt, doesn't ice fish, snowmobile, or consume copious amounts of cheese, this guy's outta here. He told me about how he would go fishing as a young boy with a friend. There'd be a large group of them out there on the ice, pickup trucks and all.

"The sound a truck makes when it drives across the ice," he says to me. "Have you heard it?"

He tried to mimic the sound himself, and suddenly I found myself wishing I had heard that sound. I got the sense it was foreign, unique. Someone should write a poem about it.

That scenario brought me to another memory: driving across the ice. Something I've also never done, and I'm glad for that. When I was in fifth and sixth grade, there was an annual basketball tournament held in a city to the north of where I lived. I was on the "B-team," the other option being the "A-team." You figure out which team held the more skilled players. Anyway, I had friends on the team whose parents would drive straight across Lake Winnebago, because at this time in the year, the lake had solidified.

I remember the first year, my father had mentioned something about taking the lake route. A shortcut. As soon as he said that, I had that feeling in my gut that I later discovered while taking a plunge on a rollercoaster. The stomach feels like it drops. It's actually going up . . . But my stomach "dropped," and I wouldn't let him do it. We didn't. And that was the end of it.

I figured I wasn't going to die in a freakin' block of ice. That wasn't how I was going to go. No way. And why the hell do you think they made roads? This isn't the Oregon Trail. We do not need to attempt to conquer this lake. And explain that one to the insurance company.

"Do you think they'd give you a new car?" Mace asks. "You know, go down there with your scuba gear and take pictures of it?"

He made a peace sign and gave a quick wave to the camera. Winter in Wisconsin.

Nov 8, 2005

Strange Kind of Day Rant

It is still Tuesday. Yesterday seemed like Tuesday. Something happened in the morning, the day before today, turned my day upside down. Just the day though. The world keeps spinning. I have reasons for moving.

For a November day, it was warm. We're supposedly going to have storms tonight that could carry in with them an armload of hail.

"Hope you paid your insurance today," my downstairs neighbor K said.

The forces of nature would be doing me a favor. My car is in shambles the way it is. But it gets me where I need to be.

Played lots of guitar tonight. I finally figured out that music is my passion, writing a hobby, and beyond that, I only wish for contentment. It doesn't take much.

I'm taking it back a few days, to the GLWF. Beth Ann Fennelly, people. Beth Ann Fennelly. Incredible poet, and what she puts down on the page...i don't even dare attempt to describe it. I don't give a damn if there are only three people...fine, two people who read this blog, everyone needs to check her out. To get to know her, hang with her, and work with her was a great honor.

I also had dinner with a friend I hadn't seen in a while, who is a writer, mentor, and teacher that I admire greatly, though Lake Street wasn't the best place for conversation. Karl told me that there was a funeral party there that night, Tom. People in E.L. really aren't that crazy.

Tonight I jammed with a four year old. He took out a little crappy keyboard my bro has. I played in C so that pretty much any white key that he hit would sound in place. The weirdest thing is, he stayed in time.

"How the hell's he doing that," I asked his father.

"Doing what?"

I wish to always get kicks from the small things. Like ladybugs, still alive late into the season, the growing threat to their lives lurking on the horizon with the onslaught of a harsh, Wisconsin winter.

Nov 7, 2005

The Parrot Story

This is true. Names have been changed.

Jim had a talking parrot. We'll call it Chester. He lived in a climate that allowed him to keep the parrot outdoors, inside the screened porch. Jim's house was on the corner of the block. For quite a long time, each morning a bus would pull up at the corner, and the ear piercing screech of brakes was laid out hundreds of times for Chester to study.

And it did learn how to mimic that sound. Why do you think Jim kept the bird outside? There was a particular man that walked to work, right past the porch each day. Probably nearly shit his pants the first time he heard that high-pitched screaming coming from the house. After a while, the man began yelling obscenities at the parrot.

"Shut the fuck up!"

Chester would then screech.

"God damn bird!"

How long this went on, no one is sure, but regardless, it was long enough for the bird to learn those words as well. When Jim's friends would visit, they'd end up rolling on the floor in laughter as soon as they entered.

"Hey Chester, how's it--"

"Shut the fuck up!"

And everyone hit the floor.

"God damn bird!" Chester said.

Then they all pissed themselves.

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech.

Nov 6, 2005

Diary of a Smoker (Day Twenty)

I started smoking at Day Ten. Oops.